Pencil in November 14 on your calendars—the clash between Harvard and Penn in Cambridge will likely have major implications in the Ivy League title race, as the Crimson and the Quakers were picked to finish 1-2 in the Ancient Eight in the preseason media poll. Last year, Harvard squeaked out a win at Franklin Field on the strength of three Ryan Barnes interceptions, but dynamic Penn quarterback Keiffer Garton will have a full season of experience under his belt this time around. Harvard’s new-look defense will have to play better than it did last year—when the Quakers recorded a season-high 445 yards—to win.
BROWN RECEIVERS vs. HARVARD SECONDARY
Brown’s Killer B’s—senior wide receivers Bobby Sewall and Buddy Farnham—are back, and will look to terrorize the Harvard secondary in a key Week 2 tussle. Sewall led the Ancient Eight in receptions (69), receiving yards (948), and receiving touchdowns (8) last year, and Farnham was not far behind. The pair will be catching passes from inexperienced quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero, but they will still provide a challenge for the Crimson backs. Harvard returns three starters in the secondary, along with reigning Rookie of the Year Matt Hanson, and should improve on last year’s third-ranked pass defense.
TIM MURPHY vs. TOM WILLIAMS
When Yale coach Jack Siedlecki stepped down last year, there’s no doubt that a large part of the decision had to do with the Bulldogs’ recent misfortune against archrival Harvard. Murphy is 10-5 against Yale and has led the Crimson to victory in The Game in seven of the last eight years. Williams, a former assistant coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, will have his work cut out for him this season. While Harvard is picked to win the Ivy title for the third straight year, the Bulldogs are projected to be a middle-of-the-pack team, and the graduation of star running back Mike McLeod should make the Crimson the favorite when the teams clash in New Haven.